SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Fourteen people graduated from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Isla Vista Citizen's Academy on Saturday.
This is the first citizen's academy specifically designed for those affiliated with Isla Vista.
Participants varied in age from 17 to 83 years old and come from different backgrounds and experiences according to the sheriff's office.
The group included students, a banker, a homeless advocate, and a Deputy District Attorney, for example.
The classes were five weeks long and the participants finished their last class on Saturday which included a tour of the jail, a bomb squad demonstration and a K-9 demonstration.
They also received their certificates of completion at a graduation ceremony and celebratory BBQ. The certificates were presented by Sheriff Bill Brown and Isla Vista Community Resource Deputy Justin Schroeder who organized the Citizen’s Academy.
The courses are free and are designed to give the public an inside look at some of what law enforcement does on a daily basis.
There were many interactive and hands-on experiences for the participants. Active shooter response training was provided. They experienced an emergency driving skills course. They also had the opportunity to participate in real scenarios and forensics projects.
“The idea behind the Isla Vista Citizen’s Academy is to enhance the partnership between the Isla Vista community and the Sheriff’s Office. This will improve communications and lead to better public service. The Academy gave the participants a working knowledge of the Sheriff’s Office. It helped the participants understand how and why deputies and officers make certain decisions while performing their duty,” said Lt Juan Camarena of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol.
More citizens’ academies in different areas of Santa Barbara County are being planned for the near future to allow more people to participate.
For more information on when the next citizen’s academy is, visit their website or follow their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.